by Elad N. Sherf and Subra Tangirala
Originally published: September 13, 2017
Gender inequality in the workplace is still commonplace, and leaders face considerable challenges when seeking to institute a more gender-equitable company culture. They find it difficult to systematically hold managers accountable for gender-parity goals, to implement unbiased performance management systems, and to modify the way in which talent is sourced.
Research on organizational change suggests that the success of any change effort requires the involvement of employees. When employees actively participate in the formulation and implementation of change programs, they are more likely to support them and less likely to resist them.
But when it comes to change programs aimed at increasing gender parity, diversity officers struggle to engage men, who often constitute the majority in organizations and hold more positions of power and influence. In fact, men frequently stay on the sidelines and avoid speaking up about programs aimed at creating gender parity. So, such change programs often become labeled as “women’s issues” within organizations and fail to resonate with internal stakeholders.